Support for dads
Many dads experience feelings of inadequacy as a parent. Some feel unable to cope with challenges in family life. With few places to go for support, Friends of the Family’s qualified male counsellor provides a welcome refuge to those dads.
What do we offer?
One-to-one counselling for dads who are facing difficulties within the home. The service is run by a fully qualified male counsellor.
Who is it for?
Dads who are suffering low self-esteem and are experiencing challenges with their role as a parent, relationship struggles or emotional issues.
Dads often find it uncomfortable to reach out for support, so our counsellor spends time building closer links with local organisations that may already be in contact with them. He also works in conjunction with Spurgeons charity at HMP Winchester. Here he offers mentoring to prisoners who are close to release in order to develop trust and confidence in the counselling process and support their ability to reunite with their family once released.
“Last year I was coming to terms with the fact my past was real. After seeing my counsellor my scars are starting to heal. He has helped me find my confidence and I now look at life differently. My saying now is ‘onwards and upwards’. I now enjoy being me.”
“My counsellor helped me understand the changes that our first child bought to my partner and our family”
“Having this service in prison is priceless.”
"Friends of the Family has been like an oasis in the sun for me."
How does it work?
Dads are referred to us in a variety of different ways: including via GPs, Spurgeons; and through our Mums and young children and 5s to 13s befriending services. If a dad fulfils the basic referral criteria, a meeting is set up where an assessment is carried out. If both parties agree that they can work together then a weekly appointment is made.
Counselling sessions are held at Friends of the Family’s’ offices. In exceptional circumstances, sessions may occasionally take place at the dad’s home.
What are the benefits?
Our service provides a safe, relaxed environment in which dads can open up. They can work through personal issues and address concerns around family and fatherhood. Exploring different parenting skills also helps them build confidence in their abilities as a dad.
Joe was referred for counselling from our 5s to 13s befriending service. He had refused the dads’ support for some time as he didn’t feel ready to access it. He was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and combined with other physical conditions he had found it increasingly difficult to leave his home unless it was really necessary, such as for medical appointments. This restriction in lifestyle had impacted greatly on his family as they were not able to spend time together out of the home. The counsellor agreed to meet with Joe at home to see if they could work together and they then spent several weeks meeting at home but with a clear aim to get Joe to meet his counsellor at the Friends of the Family office. After just 4 weeks Joe was able to drive again and he went out to the park with his children for the first time in six years! Joe says, “the support has been really helpful; I didn’t think it would help as much as it has.”